Certain theatrical lines stick with you, like the iconic, “I’ll never let go, Jack. I promise,” line from the movie “Titanic” or “Here’s looking at you, kid,” from “Casablanca.” The combination of context and the powerful emotions behind the words resonate with viewers and leave a lasting impression. Below is a list, not meant to be comprehensive or authoritative, but rather a diverse sample of eight quotes from lesbian storylines on TV shows that in one way or another feel “iconic:”
“I think you need someone to want you… Well, I do want you. So, be brave and want me back.”
Season three of the U.K. show “Skins” brought one of the most iconic teenage lesbian pairings on TV: Naomily, the portmanteau of Emily Fitch and Naomi Campbell. Naomily was the heartfelt, realistic story of Emily’s relentless pursuit of Naomi (and the conflict this caused with her identical twin Katie as the two struggled to sort out what it means to develop independent identities) and Naomi’s struggle against her own answering attraction to Emily.
Emily fought hard to make Naomi confront her feelings, but even after a night spent together in the woods, Naomi was still pulling a petrified runner, leaving Emily alone to watch her go, heartbreakingly begging her to show courage. And as the audience, we wanted Naomi to be brave and want Emily back as well.
“You were always fantasizing about meeting your Prince Charming. I was happy just to share a cardboard castle with you. It wasn’t until we kissed in the gym that I realized why. I’ve been in love with you since the day we met. And suddenly we were pretending to be a couple and there was hand-holding and kissing and three-ways. I started to have hope. Hope that you were realizing that your Prince Charming was Princess Sarcasm. When that hope died, by heart broke and I was hurt and angry.”
Sometimes you fall in love with your best friend, and most of the time, she doesn’t fall in love back (except she kind of still acts jealous and possessive towards you and maybe she really does have sublimated romantic feelings). Amy Raudenfeld’s confession to Karma Ashcroft on “Faking It” had all the emotional, tragic overtones of adolescent love. It breaks our heart to know that being Princess Sarcasm isn’t always enough to get the girl at the end of the day.
“Sex isn’t dating. If it were, Santana and I would be dating.”
Once upon a time, a little show named “Glee” threw out a funny one-liner about two cheerleaders secretly having sex, and about 90% of the show’s audience was like, “Huh?” and the other 10% was like, “OMG I KNEW IT %$)#*^)%@ MY HEAD JUST EXPLODED.” Thus from a line that had never actually been intended by the writers to go anywhere was born Brittana (the Internet tells me that someone also tried Santittany, which is hilarious), the portmanteau for Brittany Pierce and Santana Lopez.
Although “Glee” lurched about wildly from crazy plot to crazier plot, somehow the absolutely adorableness that was Brittana managed to survive six seasons and even end with a wedding. Sex might not have been dating, but it led to dating and one of the first super mainstream teenage lesbian pairings in the US. Then again, would the show have been even more revolutionary if Brittana had just been two straight girls who engaged in casual, a-romantic sexual relations? Hmmm.